How To Tell If You Are In Ketosis Without Strips
A ketogenic diet is having a minor resurgence as of late, surpassing low carb diets for fat loss. The idea of keto dieting is to use all of your bodies glucose reserves and burn ketones for energy. The body eventually reaches a state of ketosis from the result of reducing your net carb intake. People who are new to a low carb high fat, ketogenic diet often ask what are the signs, symptoms and how to tell if you are in ketosis without strips. If you’ve never been in ketosis before then you may not even realize you are in it. The human body is quite remarkable being able to switch from burning glucose for energy to ketones. Your body experiences many physiological adaptions, including a decline in insulin and breakdown of fats. While Ketosis may be confirmed by urine ketone sticks and blood ketone tests, it is not always practical or convenient. You may be at work, out to eat with friends and don’t need the hassle of measuring your blood or urine levels of ketones. There are many small signs and symptoms of ketosis which can help your analysis. Sleep and Ketosis No matter what type of diet you follow, after a good nights sleep you are already in light ketosis. While you have fasted for over 8 hours you are on your way to burning ketones. Once our liver glycogen stores have been depleted we begin to produce ketone bodies at an exponential rate. Despite that, it doesn’t mean that we’ll be utilizing them efficiently. We will not be able to effectively use ketone bodies for our muscles, brain, digestive system if we are not keto-adapted. When following a ketogenic diet some people may experience all symptoms of ketosis, some may only feel a few signs or none at all. If you are brand new to low carb high fat dieting then achieving the optimal fat burning state takes ti Continue reading >>
Ketosis & Measuring Ketones
Generally, ketone concentrations are lower in the morning and higher in the evening. Whatever time you pick to measure ketone levels, make sure to keep it consistent. Also, do not measure your ketone levels right after exercise. Ketone levels tend to be lower while your glucose levels higher so you won't get representative numbers. Keep in mind there are daily fluctuations caused by changes in hormone levels. Don't get discouraged! Another aspect that affects the level of ketones is the amount of fat in your diet. Some of you may show higher concentration of ketones after a high-fat meal. Coconut oil contains MCTs that will help you boost ketones. To easily increase your fat intake on a ketogenic diet, try fat bombs - snacks with at least 80% fat content. Ketone levels tend to be higher after extensive aerobic exercise as your body depletes glycogen stores. Exercise may help you get into ketosis faster. ketogenic "fruity" breath is not pleasant for most people. To avoid this, drink a lot of water, mint tea and make sure you eat foods rich in electrolytes. Avoid too many chewing gums and mints, as it may put you out of ketosis; there may be hidden carbs affecting your blood sugar. Increase your electrolyte intake, especially potassium. You are likely going to lose some sodium and potassium when switching to the keto diet. Finally, if you find it hard to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, there may be plenty other reasons than the level of ketone bodies: Not Losing Weight on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up and Read Further. Continue reading >>
10 Signs And Symptoms That You're In Ketosis
The ketogenic diet is a popular, effective way to lose weight and improve health. When followed correctly, this low-carb, high-fat diet will raise blood ketone levels. These provide a new fuel source for your cells, and cause most of the unique health benefits of this diet (1, 2, 3). On a ketogenic diet, your body undergoes many biological adaptions, including a reduction in insulin and increased fat breakdown. When this happens, your liver starts producing large amounts of ketones to supply energy for your brain. However, it can often be hard to know whether you're "in ketosis" or not. Here are 10 common signs and symptoms of ketosis, both positive and negative. People often report bad breath once they reach full ketosis. It's actually a common side effect. Many people on ketogenic diets and similar diets, such as the Atkins diet, report that their breath takes on a fruity smell. This is caused by elevated ketone levels. The specific culprit is acetone, a ketone that exits the body in your urine and breath (4). While this breath may be less than ideal for your social life, it can be a positive sign for your diet. Many ketogenic dieters brush their teeth several times per day, or use sugar-free gum to solve the issue. If you're using gum or other alternatives like sugar-free drinks, check the label for carbs. These may raise your blood sugar levels and reduce ketone levels. The bad breath usually goes away after some time on the diet. It is not a permanent thing. The ketone acetone is partly expelled via your breath, which can cause bad or fruity-smelling breath on a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets, along with normal low-carb diets, are highly effective for losing weight (5, 6). As dozens of weight loss studies have shown, you will likely experience both short- and long Continue reading >>
How To Identify Ketosis
Expert Reviewed Ketosis is a normal metabolic process by which your body breaks down stored fat for energy, which can also result in a dangerous buildup of ketones in the body called ketoacidosis. Ketosis is often the product of a low-carbohydrate diet that people use to lose weight and gain muscle or it can also be a product of malnutrition. Although the long-term risks of ketosis are not clear, there is some evidence that it can increase your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. By recognizing the signs of ketosis, you can help minimize your risk for developing ketoacidosis. Continue reading >>
How Long Can You Stay In Ketosis Safely?
Are you looking for a diet for weight-loss or fat-loss? If so then you might be interested in ketosis. The question is whether you can stay on it permanently. That’s because it’s critical for any ‘diet” to become part of your everyday life and eating habits. It’s important to first understand what it is all about. It’s a natural state of the human body when it’s fueled almost 100% by body fat. This state takes place during a low-carb or “keto” diet as well as during fasting. It’s important to understand how this process is related to fat loss. The term originates from the fact that the human produce produces tin fuel molecules known as “ketones.” When the body doesn’t have enough blood sugar/glucose it gets energy from this source. The body produces chemicals when it gets a very low supply of carbs and a moderate amount of protein. The liver’s fat produces ketones then the body and brain use it for fuel. The process is especially important for the brain since the organ can only run from glucose/ketones. Medical research shows that early humans probably experienced the state very often. The reason is that hunter-gatherer societies ate a high-meat diet and had less access to carbohydrates than modern humans. As a result human bodies evolved so they could get energy from fat even though it mimicked starvation mode. Today there are various reasons why people use the ketogenic meal plan. Some of the most common ones are to lose weight or control epilepsy. The firm supporters point out the health benefits of the diet but others note that it’s a dangerous “hack” of the body’s regular metabolic system. These are the benefits to this process: Less eating due to no appetite More fat loss from abdominal cavity Lower blood sugar/insulin levels Lo Continue reading >>
7 Signs You Are In Ketosis
The Ketogenic Diet (also known as “keto”) has been all over social media. You’ve probably seen ripped fitness models claiming that Keto gave them their physique, and the even more inspiration stories of normal people like you and me, who lost weight and reclaimed their lives through this diet called Keto. If you’re not sure what the Ketogenic Diet is, head on over to What is a Keto Diet? (Ketogenic Diet 101). Over there I’ve detailed what exactly Keto is and isn’t, given you meal plans, snacks, and answered all of your questions about the diet. But let’s say you’ve jumped into Keto with both feet, and now you want to know “Is this working?” I don’t blame you. It can be hard to tell what’s going on inside your body. Are you in Ketosis? Are you eating few enough carbs? Are you shedding fat? Well, there are 7 obvious ways to tell if you’re in ketosis, without testing your blood or urine. Here are the signs you’re in Ketosis: 1. Weight Loss Weight loss is the first and most obvious sign that you’re in ketosis. The weight loss happens for a variety of reasons, but it’s important to note that it’s very fast in the beginning. This is because when you switch to a low-carb diet, your muscles start losing water. Carbohydrates are what bind water to your muscles, so when you’re not eating carbohydrates, your muscles start dumping them, and the attached water. That’s one of the things that causes Keto Flu (which you can read about in Keto 101), but drinking plenty of water and keeping your salt intake up will keep you hydrated and feeling healthy. After the initial water leaving your body, then you’ll start to see steady fat loss. Related Reading: My 60 Day Keto Challenge Results (I lost 23 pounds!) 2. Little or No Appetite When you stop eati Continue reading >>
When Do I Know If I’m In Ketosis?
Those on a Keto diet eat foods high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbs in order to get the process of Ketosis to kick into place. When Do I Know If I’m In Ketosis? Ketosis occurs when you stop burning carbs as fuel and you start burning ‘ketones’. Click here to read more about the process Ketosis. One of the major benefits of ketosis is that is helps us to burn fat and therefore lose weight. Unfortunately there is no red light which flashes to tell us that are our bodies are in Ketosis (wouldn’t this be handy). There are kits which you can supposedly purchase in the chemist which indicate if your body is in Ketosis, but how reliable these are I am not sure. The natural way to test is to look out for signs and symptoms which can give us clues: Bad Breath Acetone, a ketone that is found in our urine and breath is more prevalent on the Ketone Diet because the levels of it in our bodies are higher. It can be unpleasant and leave a nasty taste in your mouth which some describe to be fruity or a metal-like taste. Strong Smelling Urine Again, because the levels of acetone in your body are increased as above, it is likely that you will notice in increase in the smell of your urine. It can appear to be more pungent than normal. Decrease in Appetite When in Ketosis, it isn’t uncommon to feel less hungry than normal. The scientific reasons behind this are unknown, but it could be due to the increase in protein and fibers from the vegetables that you may be eating. The body’s hormone levels are also likely to undergo a change whilst on this diet as your body can better regulate your hormones which tell your body when you’re hungry. When you over eat and fill up on carbs, your brain ignores the hormone which is often why you feel like your stomach is an empty Continue reading >>
5 Signs You Are Fat Adapted
“Fat-adaptation” is a somewhat vague term describing the profound changes that happen after switching from a standard diet to a ketogenic one. In order to experience these changes, you need to commit to consuming a very limited amount of carbohydrates (20-25 g per day or less) and to stick to that limit at least for a couple of weeks, while at the same time eating sufficient fat and protein. Once you commit to this way of eating you’ll notice some subtle, yet amazing transformations that your body will go through, in addition to the stable weight loss. If you are just starting out on this diet and this is your first week, you might also want to check these signs that you are in ketosis. In this article, we’ll shed some light on the different signs that you will notice once you start getting fat-adapted, and explain each one of them in detail. #1. Improved energy In the initial phase of the ketogenic diet (also sometimes referred to as induction phase), your body will be learning how to use fat for fuel instead of glucose. While at first, this might make you feel tired and lethargic, this will only last until your body adapts to the changes in your diet. Once you switch to a fat-burning metabolism and your body adjusts to it, you’ll experience blood sugar levels that are lower and more balanced, and, as a consequence, your energy levels will remain stable through the day. As a result, a lot of people report an increased motivation to exercise and be more physically active, which, in turn, is an excellent addition to your weight-loss arsenal. #2. Better sleep While you might struggle with some insomnia at first, this will improve with time and you might find that you sleep much better compared to before starting the keto diet. Many people experience a deeper, ca Continue reading >>
Fasting Ketosis Symptoms: Common Side Effects
Ketosis is one of the natural, physiological effects of the body when fasting. When we’re eating a ketogenic diet or have gone on an extended period of time without food, our bodies will enter ketosis. This is because the body no longer has glucose available and begins breaking down the body’s fatty tissues for energy. With the ketogenic diet, we’re inducing ketosis by “starving” the body of carbohydrates so that it must turn to fat burning, which has many benefits. Simply fasting by not eating any food can have the same effect. Many people on the ketogenic diet will incorporate fasting to speed up ketosis and also reap the benefits of fasting on keto. Whether you’re eating a ketogenic diet, simply fasting, or combining the two, your body is entering ketosis. Since the symptoms can be similar, this article covers the common fasting ketosis symptoms, as well as how to deal with them. Fasting Ketosis Symptoms It’s important to note that most of these symptoms are temporary as your body is getting adapted to being in ketosis and can be remedied by the tips we cover below. Ketosis Flu If you’re using fasting as a way to get into (or get back into) ketosis, you might experience what’s commonly known as the “keto flu” as the body adapts to fat burning. The keto flu typically includes symptoms like: Water Flushing As your body burns through its glucose and stored glycogen during a fast, a lot of water is released. Your kidneys will also excrete more sodium as insulin drops. This is why people who start low-carb often experience a big initial loss of water weight and reduced bloating. Fatigue With the loss of excess water, the body also flushes out electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. This can cause you to feel lightheaded and fatigued more Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis?
"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>
When And How Should You Measure Ketosis?
If you are following a low carbohydrate diet that is based on the ketogenic principles then measuring if you are in ketosis may be an important goal for you. There are times when measuring the specific ketone level may not be required. When is measuring ketosis really needed? My advice to people is if you are following a ketogenic diet for a therapeutic reason (such as epilepsy, cancer, MS, diabetes etc.) then measuring the ketogenic level will be important for you. This is because from the evidence that we have to date, we can see some correlation that in order for the ketogenic diet to be effective, the ketone bodies need to be consistently elevated. If you are someone that is following a ketogenic diet for weight loss, then measuring ketosis through objective ways (I will go over them below), really may not be necessary. There is still this notion that I see online form various Keto Coaches that having a high ketone level in the blood or breath will automatically mean you will lose more weight. I want to say categorically that this is NOT the case. “High blood ketone levels do not automatically mean you will experience a fat loss”. In the next few weeks I will detail in a weekly email exactly why this is the case but for now back to the topic of how to measure ketosis. How to measure ketosis? Subjective Measurements: There are several ways in which you can detect if you are in a ketogenic range. The first way is looking at more subjective measurements. What I mean by this is measurements that focuses more on how you are feeling. In the beginning, you can experience certain symptoms including: nausea, headaches, fatigue, bad breath and weak legs. These symptoms are a sign that your body is now switching from using glucose to using fat for energy. Another subjectiv Continue reading >>
Am I In Ketosis? The Symptoms And Signs Of Ketosis.
One of the questions people who are new to the LCHF (keto/ketogenic/low carb) diet frequently ask me is: how do I know if I’m in ketosis? What are the main signs of ketosis? Everyone’s different and while some may experience all of the symptoms of ketosis, some might only feel a couple of them. Some feel none at all. There are basic signs and symptoms that indicate that you’re in ketosis. But please note that I’m differentiating between the signs of keto flu (covered in the post I’m linking to) that many experience in the first days of a ketogenic diet, and the feeling of being in ketosis when the flu has subsided: Dry mouth (eat more salt and drink more water to alleviate this). See my keto breath article here. Weight loss. Yay! Metallic taste in your mouth or a strange taste in the back of your throat. Some describe it as fruity or a little sweet. A kind of “buzzing” feeling that’s hard to describe. Almost euphoric at times. Different kind of urine smell, stronger too! “Ketosis breath” – It can range from being a little sweet to being almost like you’ve had a drink of alcohol. Less appetite. You can go for hours without eating and don’t feel very hungry. Increased energy. If you don’t experience it try to eat more fat. Also, drink more water and watch your electrolytes. A ketone strip you pee on shows a positive result. There are also blood ketone meters, or the popular ketone breath test, that give a more specific result. (Pro-tip: If you get the pee strips, cut them in half ) But do note that even with a positive pee strip it’s not 100% certain that you’re in ketosis. A very dark positive result may only indicate that you’re dehydrated. For me personally, the main signs of ketosis are hard to miss. I just feel different! It’s hard Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Faq
With all the new people finding, switching, and transitioning into a low carb diet, I figured it was about time I put together an FAQ on all the common questions that are asked when someone is starting out. I don’t go too in depth in the answers, but I tried to give a direct answer and then link to a more in depth article on the topic to help you fully understand it. If you have any other questions you’d like to be added, changed, or are unsure about – please feel free to leave a comment below so I can fully explain, or make changes to the answers on this page. Best wishes, and to all the new people out there – good luck and happy dieting! Frequently Asked Questions Click any of the questions below and it will take you to the answer. How Long Does It Take To Get Into Ketosis? A ketogenic diet is not a diet that you can whimfully choose to go on and off of at any point. It takes time for your body to adjust and go into a state known as ketosis. This process? Anywhere from 2 – 7 days, depending on your body type, activity levels, and what you’re eating. The fastest way to get into ketosis is to exercise on an empty stomach, restrict your carbohydrate intake to 20g or less per day, and be vigilant with your water intake. To improve the rate at which you enter ketosis, there is a method called Fat Fasting. I’ve written an article on Fat Fasting on a Ketogenic Diet and everything involved with it. Make sure that if you use this method, it is only for a few days, otherwise it can bring harm to you. Where Can I Find Low Carb Recipes? Everywhere on the internet! There’s recipes on almost every health website nowadays, and a quick Google of what you want will definitely help you out. You can even convert high carb recipes that use sugar or fruits in them to low c Continue reading >>
Symptoms Of Ketosis:
If you are considering the ketogenic diet or have already started down this carb-free road, you may wonder what you can expect. Here’s the thing. Ketosis looks different for everyone, but I will share many of the most common symptoms with you today. If something other than what’s listed here is happening to you, just do a quick Google search for that symptom and keto. You should be able to find what you’re looking for! The Early Signs: The early signs of ketosis vary from person to person. The biggest impact on how quickly you notice the symptoms of ketosis will have a lot to do with how you ate before you started the diet. If your diet was very high carb, you might get hit pretty quickly and furiously with what we like to call the “Keto Flu.” This can last anywhere from 3 days to a week or more. Once your body has adapted to burning ketones for energy instead of glucose, you’ll be golden so don’t give up! Here’s what you can expect within the first 2-3 days of starting the Ketogenic Diet: Fatigue & Weakness (lack of concentration) Headaches Metallic taste or sweet taste in your mouth (I experienced this, and it tasted like blood in my mouth) Lightheaded / Dizzy upon standing Heightened Thirst Hunger / Sweet or Carb Cravings Dry Mouth possibly paired with “Keto Breath.” Stomach Discomfort / Mild Nausea / Cramping Trouble Sleeping or Staying Asleep (early waking) Water weight loss (perhaps an excessive loss of weight within the first two weeks) Frequent Urination Allergies or cold like symptoms may flair up For the ladies: Period issues: You may experience a longer, shorter, earlier, later period because of Keto. Seriously it causes all of that. Each woman is different, and I have experienced every one of those issues with my period since starting ket Continue reading >>
The Signs Of Ketosis On Atkins Diets
The Atkins diet, first published in 1972 and reinvented 20 years later, has helped countless people lose weight, but isn't without controversy. The diet severely limits your intake of carbohydrates -- found in sugar, bread, pasta, most fruits, starchy vegetables and many processed snacks -- to encourage your body to lose fat. Often, this pushes you into a state of ketosis, a process that occurs when you burn fat for fuel. Video of the Day Ketosis isn't inherently harmful, but in some cases can lead to a build up of the ketone bodies, causing dehydration and changes in your blood chemistry. Though a blood test is the most accurate way to determine if you're in ketosis, certain other physical changes provide clues that you're in this state. Ketosis and the Atkins Diet Your body usually uses glucose, derived from carbohydrates, for energy -- particularly to fuel the brain. Ketones are produced when you're short on carbohydrates and must burn fat for fuel. When you produce ketones for energy, you are in ketosis. Phase One, or the "Induction Phase," of Atkins will likely cause you to produce ketones. During these first two weeks, you consume no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. This represents a significant restriction in carbohydrates -- the Institute of Medicine recommends you eat 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories from carbs, or 225 to 325 grams daily on a standard 2,000-calorie diet. To meet your low-carb limit, the Atkins diet has you subsist primarily on meats, fish, poultry, eggs, oils, some cheese and watery, fibrous vegetables with few carbohydrates, such as lettuce and cucumbers. Breath and Urine Signs of Ketosis Ketones are burned for energy, but also breathed out through the lungs and excreted in the urine. As a result, your breath takes on a frui Continue reading >>